ST-EUSTACHE, Que. – Jordan Szoke will make his bid for a record fourth national Superbike win at Autodrome St-Eustache from pole position after setting the fastest time in Magneti Marelli SuperPole qualifying for the second round of the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship on Saturday.
The Brantford, Ont. racer took his Waznie Racing / BMW Motorrad / Mopar Express Lane BMW S1000RR around the 1.92km (1.2-mile) circuit in 45.195 seconds to claim his second pole of the year and add another four points to his bid for an unprecedented 10th national Superbike title.
Jodi Christie of Keene, Ont, set the second fastest time of 45.542 on his Jodi Christie Racing / Honda Canada / Accelerated Technologies Honda CBR1000RR and Mississauga, Ont.’s Trevor Daley was third fastest at 47.035 aboard the ProStar Motorsports / One Speed Chop Shop Honda CBR1000RR.
Raphael Archambault of Terrebonne, Que. completes the front row for Sunday’s 22-lap race after turning a lap at 47.075 riding the Mako Performance / Town & Country Suzuki GSX-R600.
Szoke bounced back from a tough day on Friday to earn the pole. He was quickest in the 30-minute prequalifying period that set the 10 riders for the 10-minute Magneti Marelli SuperPole shootout and he put down his fastest lap early in the SuperPole session.
“Yesterday I think I wanted too much too quickly and I didn’t have my head in it,” said Szoke, who had the second fastest time in practice on Friday behind Christie. “It was the most inconsistent I’ve ridden in a long time. But the bike’s working better than ever and the upgrades we made for this year are clearly making a difference.”
Szoke looked capable of toppling the three-year-old lap record of 45.012 set by Brett McCormick, but was thwarted in his attempt.
“There was a strong wind blowing across the backstraight and I had some head shake and had to get out of it a bit,” he explained. “But I think a record lap was there. For me, it’s very positive with the bike and the new Dunlop tires.”
In addition to claiming a fourth career St-Eustache Superbike win, Szoke is also trying to become the first racer to win three straight events at the Quebec track, having also won here in 2012 and 2013.
Christie was aiming for a second straight pole at Autodrome St-Eustache after taking the top qualifying spot last year. But like Szoke he had difficulties with the wind on the backstraight.
“We threw on the soft tire partway through the session but we didn’t make the most of it,” Christie explained. “The wind on the backstraight was irritating more than anything. I was dragging my back brake a bit to keep the front end on the ground. We’ll work on the bike tonight, not necessarily to cure any problems but just make it a bit easier to ride.”
Christie goes into Sunday’s race 12 points behind Szoke in the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship standings, with 48 to Szoke’s 60. A win in Sunday’s race is worth 50 points.
Daley produced his best career Pro Superbike qualifying result despite feeling the effects of a pair of falls in the Pro Sport Bike qualifying session earlier in the afternoon. This weekend marks his national debut with the ProStar Motorsports Honda team.
“For the first weekend out I’m pretty happy,” he said. “I was watching my pit board and I really just wanted to make sure I put it on the front row. We’ll probably make a couple of small changes but it’s more about me getting comfortable and up to speed right now.”
Archambault made a big improvement after the team resolved a fuel flow problem that had been dogging them all weekend.
“We made little changes through the whole session and it all seemed to go in the right direction,” said the 20-year-old. “We’ll work a bit on the front to improve the front end feel but it’s a little thing.”
Sebastien Tremblay of Longueuil, Que. qualified fifth fastest on the MotoNation / Laval Moto / CrossfitLaval.com Kawasaki ZX-10R with a time of 47.170. He will be joined on the second row by the OCM Motorsports / egopay.com Kawasaki ZX-10R of St-Lazare, Que.’s Franklyn Dominguez, and Gatineau, Que. rider Stephane Houle aboard the ASM Motorsport / Jim Keay Ford / Wheelsport Kawasaki ZX-10R.
The third row consists of Sarnia, Ont.’s Will Hornblower on the Hornblower Racing / Blue Streak Yamaha YZF-R6, the Trombino Racing / Royal Plumbing Aprilia RSV4 of Kleinburg, Ont.’s Frank Trombino, which lost a chain during qualifying, Jean-Francois Cyr of Terrebonne, Que. on the CyRacing / RaceLine Triumph 675 and Caledon, Ont.’s Kristopher Garvie aboard the Honda Canada / Fast Company Honda CBR1000RR.
Action at Autodrome St-Eustache concludes Sunday with feature races in all five national classes. Practice begins at 10:00 with the first race, for the Honda CBR250R series, launching at Noon.
For ticket information call (450) 472-6222 or (514) 591-4388, or visit www.autodrome.ca.
The official Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship website, www.csbk.ca, will have full race video coverage of Saturday’s round of the Honda CBR250R National Race Series, as well as Sunday’s Hindle Pro Sport Bike and Mopar Pro Superbike feature events.
Pro Superbike Qualifying Results
1.Jordan Szoke, Brantford, Ont., BMW S1000RR, 45.195* (153.734km/h)
2. Jodi Christie, Keene, Ont., Honda CBR1000RR, 45.542*
3. Trevor Daley, Mississauga, Ont., Honda CBR1000RR, 47.035*
4. Raphael Archambault, Terrebonne, Que., Suzuki GSX-R600, 47.075*
5. Sebastien Tremblay, Longueuil, Que., Kawasaki ZX-10R, 47.170*
6. Franklyn Dominguez, St-Lazare, Que., Kawasaki ZX-10R, 48.021*
7. Stephane Houle, Gatineau, Que., Kawasaki ZX-10R, 48.145*
8. Will Hornblower, Sarnia, Ont., Yamaha YZF-R6, 48.829*
9. Frank Trombino, Kleinburg, Ont., Aprilia RSV4, No Time*
10. Jean-Francois Cyr, Terrebonne, Que., Triumph 675, No Time*
11. Kristopher Garvie, Caledon, Ont., Honda CBR1000RR, 48.325
12. Louie Raffa, Ste-Marthe, Que., Honda CBR600RR, 48.629
13. Marco Sousa, Schomberg, Ont., BMW S1000RR, 49.521
14. Hugo Fournier, L’Islet, Que., Yamaha YZF-R6, 49.805
15. Caleb Noiles, Upper Cloverdale, N.B., Honda CBR600RR, 50.998
16. Elie Daccache, Newcastle, Ont., Yamaha YZF-R6, No Time
17. Kenny Reidmann, Belfountain, Ont., Triumph 675, No Time
18. Philippe Masse, St-Hyacinthe, Que., No Time
* — Times set in Magneti Marelli SuperPole Shootout
–From Professional Motorsports Productions